"Snape stepped forward, waved his wand, and the snake vanished in a small puff of black smoke."

The Snake-Vanishing Spell[3] (Vipera Evanesca) is a transfiguration spell that vanishes snakes. As such, it can be used as a counter-spell for the Snake Summons Spell, the Fire to snake spell, or any other spell that produces snakes.

History of use

During the 1988–1989 school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, this spell was taught to fifth year Defence Against the Dark Arts students by then then Professor Patricia Rakepick, in order to teach them something both valuable and useful, considering how little they had learnt in previous years.[4]


Snape casting this spell

Severus Snape cast this spell in 1992 at the Duelling Club to dispose of a snake that Draco Malfoy had conjured while duelling Harry Potter.[2]

Albus Dumbledore used this spell during the Duel in the Ministry Atrium with Tom Riddle, destroying the serpent that the Dark Wizard had transfigured from his Fire rope.[5]

Harry Potter also used it while searching for horcruxes in 1997, vanishing a snake in his path.[6]

During the Ousting of Severus Snape, Professor McGonagall used this spell nonverbally, vanishing the snake that Snape had transfigured from her fiery offensive spell.[7]

Known practitioners


Vipera is a genus of venomous vipers, a type of snake. Evanesca likely shares its origin with Evanesco, which means "disappear" in Latin -- Evanesca would be the imperative form of the verb, making this incantation a command for the serpent to disappear.

Behind the scenes

  • This spell appears to be related to the Vanishing Spell, given the similar effects and etymology.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets the cobra burned away, leaving some ash, rather than disappearing in a cloud of black smoke, as it is portrayed in the novel.
  • It is unknown if used against Nagini, who was a Horcrux, she would vanish. However, given the near-indestructibility of Horcruxes, as well Nagini's proven resistance to Blasting Curses, the spell probably would have failed if used against her.


Notes and references

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · Patricia Rakepick · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls · Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence: Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Magical Drafts and Potions
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo Charm · Boggart-Banishing Spell · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Counter-spells · Curse of the Bogies · Defensive Charms · Densaugeo · Deprimo · Disarming Charm · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell · Full Body-Bind Curse · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Human-presence-revealing Spell · Impediment Jinx · Knockback Jinx · Lacarnum Inflamari · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm · Red Sparks · Reductor Curse · Salvio hexia · Seize and Pull Charm · Shield Charm · Smokescreen Spell · Snake-Vanishing Spell · Stunning Spell · Tickling Charm · Tongue-Tying Curse · Trip Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Killing Curse
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Erkling · Ghost · Ghoul · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Nocturnal beasts · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie
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